Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Cooking up a softer image

Is this a trend? First, the May 2 Sydney Morning Herald runs a puff piece on the Muslim cleric Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly, who gained notoriety by likening rape victims to uncovered meat that gets eaten by cats, with a photo showing him whipping up a dish in his kitchen, where, the cutline notes, “he says he is happiest.” Now, we have an Aug. 28 Agence France-Presse dispatch highlighting the culinary proclivities of Iran’s megalomaniac President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

"Before (I became president) I used to do the grocery shopping. Now sometimes I help in the kitchen and I know how to make all the Iranian food," Ahmadinejad said.

Pressed by the interviewer for more details, Ahmadinejad continued in typically defiant fashion.

"Of course what I make is delicious – ask everyone who has eaten it! I can make all the different kinds of soups and Iranian stews."

Infidel readers are apparently supposed to be reassured by these homey depictions, intended to obscure what these pious Muslim leaders are really interested in cooking – to wit, our goose.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Friedman's flummery

Comfortably ensconced on the editorial pages of the New York Times, pundit Thomas Friedman can always be relied upon to rhetorically deflect from the Western mainstream media the opprobrium their conduct so often merit. His column in Sunday’s edition is a case in point.

In it, he takes to task the Bush administration for having so effectively “swift-boated” the “authentic Vietnam war heroes” Max Cleland and John Kerry in the American media, while failing to do likewise with Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in those of the Arab-Muslim world. Writing from Doha, Qatar, Friedman bewails the fact that in conversations in that region “it won’t take 30 seconds before the words ‘Abu Ghraib’ and ‘Guantánamo Bay’ are thrown at you” and, the numberless atrocities of the jihadist enemy notwithstanding, “none of their acts have become one-punch global insults like Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo.” As an example of said atrocities he cites the Aug. 14 suicide-bomb massacre of some 500 Kurdish Yazidis in Iraq, decries the Bush administration’s failure to denounce it in loud enough tones, and sternly asserts that “Even if we don’t know the exact perpetrators, we know who is inspiring this sort of genocide — Al Qaeda and bin Laden — and we need to say that every day.”

Excuse us, Mr. Friedman, but just who is this “we” that needs constantly to reiterate this point? I’ll tell you who: not the Bush administration but the Western mainstream media, at the rarified heights of which you toil. But said media can be counted upon to do nothing of the sort, which is why neither the Yazidi massacre – nor the butchery of hostages, the lynching of American contractors in Fallujah, the destruction of the Shi’ite Al-Askari mosque in Samarra, etc., etc., ad nauseam – has become a “one-punch global insult.” And the reason why Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo have become such insults is because the media have harped on them endlessly in precisely the manner you propose.

There are two reasons they do so. One is that in the wake of the traumatic 2000 election overtime slugfest, George W. Bush is perceived as a villain on a much more visceral level by the preponderant majority of American mainstream media reporters and pundits who are partisan Democrats than is Osama bin Laden or any other jihadist. The other is the near-reflexive deference of such people and their editors to Muslim sensitivities that has become almost a daily occurrence – as witness such current examples as the refusal of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to print pictures of two men photographed while engaged in highly suspicious activity on a Puget Sound ferry that were released for public dissemination Aug. 21 by the FBI, and the decision by 25 mainstream newspapers to withhold the Aug. 26 and Sept. 2 installments of the comic strip “Opus” because a character shows up in a niqab, declaring Islamic radicalism “a hot new fad.” As Washington Post Writers Group Executive Sales Manager Karisue Wyson told the trade journal Editor and Publisher, many papers “won't publish any Muslim-related humor, whether pro or con,” stressing that “They just don't want to touch that.”

Not that the media of the Arab-Muslim world would be likely to parrot anti-jihadist coverage and commentary were it to appear in the Western media, the way they do the latter's current anti-American screeds. This is because the jihadist enemy’s critiques of America in particular and the West in general resonate among populations brought up not only on decades of inimical propaganda but on centuries of Quranic recitations such as Verse 48:29, which stipulates that Muslims are “hard against the disbelievers and merciful amongst themselves,” and verses 3:28, 3:118, 4:138-9, 5:51, 9:23 and 60:1, all of which enjoin the faithful to forbear from friendship or alliance with infidels – even if they are “your fathers or your brothers.”

Far be it from Friedman, of course, to cite the scripture, doctrines, and history of Islam as an obstacle to Arab-Muslim acceptance of anti-jihadist criticism. Instead, it’s all the president’s fault. “Mr. Bush is losing a P.R. war to a mass murderer,” he cavils. “Yes, it is not easy breaking through the innate, anti-American tilt of the Arab media, but we have barely tried.”

Again, that spurious “we.” Not only has the U.S. government, hobbled by its habits of “sensitivity” and deference, “barely tried” to make a case against the jihadist enemy, but the mainstream media establishment has collectively done its absolute damnedest to undermine any such case. Unhappily, it can be relied upon to continue to do so, for humor is not the only “Muslim-related” matter its editors, publishers and producers “just don’t want to touch.”

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Many thanks once more ...

... to Robert Spencer, director of JihadWatch, for linking to the foregoing post.

Spencer, Islam’s most trenchant contemporary critic, has written and edited several books that are worthy of perusal by anyone determined to retain the inalienable rights with which we have been endowed by our Creator – and which the jihadist enemy seeks to abrogate in his quest to reduce us under the absolute despotism of dhimmitude. These include:

“Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West” (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2003)

“The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades” (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2005)

“The Truth about Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion” (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2006)

“Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t” (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2007)

“The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims” (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2005)

Though the titles of these works bespeak their polemical nature, they are not mere screeds but carefully researched analyses. Spencer has done us the signal service of reading deeply into the scripture and doctrines of Islam – the Qur’an, the ahadith, the tasfir and the sira – to show how the jihadist enemy uses the same in justifying his depredations and exhorting the adherents to this creed to violent action. To read his work is to arm oneself intellectually against that enemy – and in the world that has taken shape over the last several decades few endeavors can be more important.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Not all "John Does" out of imams' sights

The news that Omar Mohammedi of New York and Frederick Goetz of Minneapolis, attorneys for the notorious “Flying Imams,” have limited the scope of the latter group’s jihad intimidation lawsuit is a positive development – but let no one suppose that this means they have stopped gunning for all of the “John Does” that reported the imams’ suspicious activity on U.S. Airways Flight 300 on Nov. 20, 2006. For their filing only dismisses “possible defendants ‘John Does’ as set forth in paragraphs 21 and 22 of the First Amended Complaint as parties from this action.” Omitted from it is paragraph 20 of said complaint, which reads:

“20. Defendant Flight Attendants and Desk Agents ‘John Does’ were at all times relevant to the events mentioned herein employees and/or agents of Defendant U.S. Airways and were acting within the scope of their employment on U.S. Airways Flight 300 on November 20, 2006 and subsequent U.S. Airways flights on November 20-21, 2006.”

Thus, the imams and their litigious henchmen are still trying to cow into silence individual airline workers who, their humble pay grade notwithstanding, had, if anything, more of a duty to report suspicious activity than did the passengers for whose safety they were responsible. Moreover, the imams’ lawyers have retained in their original filing paragraph 19, which names as a defendant Capt. John Wood for his temerity in deciding their provocations were grounds for their removal from the flight. Neither an upstanding airline captain nor conscientious airline workers have the kind of deep pockets whose contents the plaintiffs bar so covets, so their continued targeting by the imams can have but one object: intimidation, with the goal of rendering any activity by Muslim airline passengers off limits to either scrutiny or sanction.

This is right in line with Verse 8:12 of the Quran, which expresses Allah’s determination to “instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers,” and Verse 9:29, which enjoins Muslims to fight unbelievers until they “feel themselves subdued.” Subdued, with a terror of financial ruin in our hearts – that is how these clerics want us the next time a dry run takes place.

Or a wet one.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Of bullets and buncombe

Beaucoup buzz on the photo of the hijab hag with the unfired rounds she told Agence France-Presse hit her house. AFP has issued a correx to the original cutline, which read:

"An elderly Iraqi woman shows two bullets which she says hit her house following an early coalition forces raid in the predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City. At least 175 people were slaughtered on Tuesday and more than 200 wounded when four suicide truck bombs targeted people from an ancient religious sect in northern Iraq, officials said.(AFP/Wissam al-Okaili)"

The correx reads:

"CORRECTS BULLETS TO UNSPENT An elderly Iraqi woman holds up two unspent bullets at her house following an early coalition forces raid in the predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City, 14 August 2007."

As Ace of Spades notes, the correx says nothing about the woman's laughable claim that the rounds hit her house -- which they could hardly have done unless the troops were using a slingshot instead of an M-4.

Other bloggers have commented on peculiarities in the appearance of the rounds. Now maybe things have changed since my own ETS back in the last century, but all the 5.56 ball I ever got issued (and the British surplus stuff that's in my personal stores) has a band of discoloration on the cartridge case neck and shoulder from annealing. Commercial rounds don't show that, as it gets polished off before loading -- just like the ones the "Magic Bullet Lady" is displaying.

Unfired rounds in a long-standing war

Little Green Footballs has a highly amusing post today on an Agence France-Presse photo showing an Iraqi crone holding up two "bullets" that supposedly hit her house during a Coalition raid in Sadr City. The projectiles in the photo seem to have survived the impact rather well -- which is only to be expected, given that they're still in the cartridge cases of unfired 5.56 mm rounds.

If you do a search on Yahoo’s site for Wissam al-Okaili, the AFP photog who snapped the hilarious shot, you will find that he stages his subjects in a recurring motif: children peering pensively through broken windows. I found four different examples of this. Another shows adults staged in the same way.

Plucks at the heartstrings – just like all those wire-service shots, taken by local stringers, of fresh new toys sitting unbesmirched on rubble in Lebanon during the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict in the summer of 2006. In this context it is worth noting the calls by the second International Conference in Support of the Arab Peoples in 1969 for "all information media [to] be mobilized to enlighten world public opinion" and by Arab League Secretary Shedli Klibi in 1979 for "an Arab information campaign in the widest sense," both of which are cited by Bat Ye'or in Chapter 9 of "Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide" (Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2002).

The Muslim world's propaganda war has been under way for quite some little while.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

About those John Does ...

Michelle Malkin notes today that though the plaintiffs' attorney in the "Flying Imams" intimidation suit stated his intent two weeks ago to drop the "John Doe" passengers from his complaint, he has done no such thing. This has prompted a letter to him from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-profit group that represents defendants in religious discrimination cases and has blasted the lawsuit as "giving the whole idea of religious freedom a black eye."

" ... and feel themselves subdued."

Both Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna and Charles Johnson at LGF have links this morning to reports of an appalling act of dhimmitude by a Scottish "equality and diversity officer" who has decreed that National Health Service workers and doctors in Glasgow, Lothian and Clyde must not eat lunch at their desks during Ramadan (which this year begins next month) so as not to "upset" Muslim workers. This "guidance," according to the U.K. Daily Express, was generated by "the Glasgow consultancy Meem, which advises on Muslim issues and counts the Scottish Parliament among its clients."

As bad as this is, the attitude evinced by the first comment posted by an Express reader is even worse:

"Unfortunately this latest move did not help enough. It created new problems. Now that meal carts and working lunch is banned Muslims will be left alone in the office while their coworkers go out to eat together. Muslim health care workers will be missing out on important social networking opportunities that their non-Muslim coworkers receive. We need a solution for that. We should instead encourage non-Muslims to try sharing their Muslim coworkers' experience of fasting. It might be difficult the first year or two but eventually it will become familiar."

Right in line with Qu’ran 9:29.